Free Lectures by Clark Fellows this Fall

For Immediate Release

August 22, 2008

This fall, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute presents thought-provoking and intriguing lectures by national and international scholars, critics, and museum professionals selected as Clark Fellows. The scholarly lectures are free and held on selected Tuesdays at 5:30 pm.

Fellow Michael Leja will present “Pictures and Daily Life Circa 1850” on September 23. Leja, a professor in the department of art history at the University of Pennsylvania, studies the visual arts in various media in the 19th and 20th centuries, primarily in the United States. His Clark project, for which he has also won a Guggenheim Fellowship, is an examination of the aesthetic and social effects of the industrial production of pictures in the U.S. between 1830 and 1875. This case study will provide a basis for critical evaluation of influential theories of mass visual culture associated with Benjamin, Adorno, Huyssen, Hall, and others.

Fellow Mitchell Merback, associate professor of art history at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, will present “’Impossible!’ From Dissent to Disenchantment in German Renaissance” on October 14. His work explores the relationships between religion and art in medieval and Renaissance Europe. His Clark project is “The Radical German Renaissance: Art, Dissent, and Religious Regime in the Era of Reform, 1490–1555,” which explores the radicalization of German and Swiss artists in response to the changes brought by Protestant reform and the Peasants’ War of 1525.

On October 21 Fellow W.J.T. Mitchell will present “Cloning Terror.” Mitchell is professor of English and art history at the University of Chicago. A scholar and theorist of media, visual art, and literature, Mitchell is associated with the emergent fields of visual culture and iconology. His Clark project is a book entitled Cloning Terror: The War of Images, 9/11 to Abu Ghraib.

The remaining lectures this fall are: “The ‘Roh’ and the Cooked: Film, Actionism, Paracinema” by Fellow Branden Joseph on November 11; “Territorial Insecurity” by Fellow Felicity Scott on November 18; and “Manifestations of the Face” by Clark/Centre Allemand Fellow Margaret Werth on December 2.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute has announced 17 Clark Fellows for the 2008-2009 academic year. Clark fellowships are awarded to national and international scholars, critics, and museum professionals whose work extends and enhances the understanding of the visual arts and their role in culture. The program encourages a critical commitment to research in the theory, history, and interpretation of works from all periods and genres. 

Since its inception in 2000, the Clark’s Research and Academic Program has earned an international reputation as a foremost center for advancing the study of visual arts and for educating the next generation of art historians, professors, and museum directors and curators. The program engages the world’s most creative and innovative visual arts scholars, from Clark Fellows who travel to Williamstown from throughout the world to pursue their research while in residence at the Clark, to prominent participants in pioneering international research collaborations, this year underway with institutions based in Paris and Johannesburg.

The Clark is one of the country’s foremost art museums, as well as a dynamic center for research and higher education in art history and criticism with an international fellowship program; regular conferences, symposia, and colloquia; and an important art research library. The Clark, together with Williams College, jointly sponsors one of the nation’s leading M.A. programs in art history, which has been part of the professional development of a significant number of art museum directors, curators, and scholars.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, MA. The galleries are open daily in July and August, 10 am to 5 pm (closed Mondays September through June). Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and under, members, and students with valid ID. Admission is free November through May. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit


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